Music & Fashion: Amy Winehouse
"I want people to hear my voice and just forget their troubles for five minutes"
(Amy Jade Winehouse)
This month, for the section Music & Fashion, I want to pay tribute to one of the most beautiful voices of last years, a star that shone like few other did and off too early... the music icon of this month is Amy Winehouse.
Born in a little county of England, she shows from childhood a restless and ribellious attitude. She approaches to music early, creating when she's ten a rap band, called Sweet 'n' Sour. During adolescence, she is passionate about several genres of music and in 1999 she is part of National Youth Jazz Orchestra as professionist singer. The fame, however, as often happens, arrives almost by chance. In fact, hanks to a friend of her who send a demo to a talent scout, she signs a contract with Island/Universal. The debut album, Frank, released in 2003 and wrote almost totally by her, is influenced by her deep passion for jazz and is immediately a success with audience and critics, so much that her voice is compared with the voices of Macy Gray and Sarah Vaughan.
The world fame arrives in 2006 with her second album, Back to Black, thanks to which she wins 5 Grammy Awards and releases some of her biggest hits like Rehab, maybe the song that represents her better became an international smash, You know I'm no good, the eponymous Back to Black and Love is a loosing game, poignant and melancholy song thanks to which she wins the prestigious Ivor Novello for best song. With Black to Black she appears more confident and mature, assuming at the same time the characters of the gifted and cursed. Taking advantage of the success of Back to Black, she releases the singles Just Friends, Cupid and Valerie.
The sick and gusty relationship with her husband, the constant and spotted abuse of alcool and drugs and the several admissions in rehab affect her already fragile balance and force her carreer to long periods of standby. Are famous some her appearances at which she shows off herself drunk and in apparent confusion, like the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007 when, after the prizegiving, in the moment of the speech she remains standing in silence in front of an astonished audience. Her phisycal conditions are not more reassuring: she appears always more skinny, with the pale face and the body marked by bruises and cuts, evident signs of a deep depression.
After a period of a relative silence, in 2010 she announces her coming back in the music scene and the release of her third album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, in phase of recording in that moment. An album coming and a new love look like the begining of a new era for Amy, but it's not intended to last long time.
June 13th 2011 she dies in her home in Camden Square for abuse of alcool. The paramedics rushed in the place can do anything but declare the death. The curse of 27, that left no room to Jim, Janice and Jimi, neither spare her, too sensitive, too fragile, maybe, to face the pressures of show business. Of her remain a scratchy voice, of a poignat beauty, two albums that consecrated her in the history of music as new queen of white soul, and the memory of a life characterized by the excesses also in style.
Because when it comes to style and make up Amy is a true expert. Huge black bouffant, a tribute in punk and irriverent version of the 60's hairstyles, a lot of eyeliner on the eyes and suits pin-up style. Theese are the distintive traits of a character that dictated fashion to fashion. Of her Karl Lagerfeld said: <<I very much like her hairdo. I took it as an inspiration. Because, in fact, it was also Brigitte Bardot's hairdo in the late fifties and sixties. And now Amy has made it her own style. For me, it was a double clin d'oeil. It is Brigitte Bardot and Amy Winehouse>>. An appreciation that is gone beyond words and is turned into a tribute show (Pre-Fall 2007-2008). Jean Paul Gaultier gave his tribute to the singer with a collection (S/S 2012) inspired by her personality. Least but not last Fred Perry, the historical english brand that created a capsule collection inspired by her style, a little rockabilly, a little boor, made by t-shirts, blouses, jeans and mini shorts.
|Chanel Pre-Fall 2007-2008|
|Jean Paul Gaultier s/s 2012|
|Fred Perry - Amy Winehouse capsule collection|
A unique and personal style, Amy style, more powerful than her voice, more communicative than her songs, that inspired and is continuing to inspire million of fashionistas around the world. Here a slideshow of her best looks. Main elements of her style are:
- bouffant, the iconic and inevitable hairstye that, with the black kajal, is became her trademark;
- ballerinas, in her unofficial appareances she often shows off ballerinas and flat shoes, practical and confortable;
- open toe heels, pin-up style complete her looks inspired by 50's;
- blouses and tank tops;
- skinny jeans;
- hair bands that frame her important hairdo.
Sad protagonist of a story without happy ending, Amy Winehouse is the proof that the talent, even when it's extraordinary, it's not enough to give the strenght required to face the ugliness of the world. She will always be just Amy, an unicum, the image and the personification of a soul voted to the only philosophy it knows: malaise and annihilation.
What do you think?